A Midsummer Night's Dream and Wuthering Heights in Breaking Dawn

As everyone knows, Wuthering Heights is associated with Eclipse through plot and direct quotation. Bella is re-reading Wuthering Heights and even discusses the book and its characters with Edward. The wind blows around her house so that it is a wuthering heights itself. She is concerned that she may be as selfish as the lovers in the novel although she recognizes a redeeming quality even in their selfishness.

Breaking Dawn is also related to a great work of literature -- A Midsummer Night's Dream. The werewolves' imprinting is magical like the attachments of the Shakespearean couples who are caught up in the quarrel between the King and Queen of the Fairies. The word "imprint" even occurs in Act I, Scene I of A Midsummer Night's Dream. There are several subtle allusions to the play as well. Jacob's future brother-in-law Paul brays like a donkey while watching tv -- a reference to Bottom with his ass's head. Rosalie and Jacob quarrel over Renesmee mirroring the struggle of Titania and Oberon over the foundling child. Quil, who has imprinted on the child Claire, is decorated by the little girls at a makeup party perhaps a little like the adornment of Bottom -- "For she his hairy temples then had rounded / With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers." Theatrics play a big part in A Midsummner Night's Dream. In Breaking Dawn there are several references to acting and actors. Bella thinks of her honeymoon in theatrical terms -- "This felt exactly like having to walk out in front of a theater full of thousands with no idea what my lines were." (p.83). Her honeymoon island is bathed in moonlight as is the world of the night in A Midsummer Night's Dream when the fairies work their magic. If Jacob is her sun, Edward is associated with the moon.

There are also a few borrowings from Wuthering Heights in in Breaking Dawn.

  1. In Chapter 12 of Wuthering Heights, Cathy bites a pillow and pulls out handfulls of feathers. The down is referred to as snowy in both books. Edward bites a pillow in Breaking Dawn to relieve the excesses of his passion and Bella finds herself covered in feathers.
  2. In Chapter 15, Heathcliff holds Cathy's arm so tightly that he leaves impressions of his fingers on her arm. Edward makes an issue out of the bruises his fingers make on their wedding night.
  3. In Chapter 12, Cathy sees her face in a mirror and thinks it is someone else. Bella sees her reflection several times in Breaking Dawn and is shocked by it.

Last updated July 12, 2009.

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